Outlander Episode 301: THE BATTLE JOINED aired on Sunday, 10 September after the Guinness Book of World Record’s longest hiatus in the history of the world dating all the way back, back, back to the Triassic Period … at least, that’s what it felt like to us. The episode opens with a poignant bang and ends with a bittersweet whimper. The entire cast and production team somehow manage to outperform themselves yet again. I have no idea how they do it, but am darn appreciative of their talent and commitment to the show.
Sam Heughan is no exception. In fact, he is exceptional. Yeah, I know. I’ve said it so many times, I sound like a broken record. It’s not my fault the man is able to reach deeper and deeper into himself to put Jamie through one emotionally powerful scene after another. The man – Jamie – is in pain. Without music, without dialogue, without a voiceover we feel his agony through his actions … we see the rage on his face … we sense his heartbreak in our hearts.
When Outlander first aired in 2014, I (along with many others) declared the show groundbreaking. While it had a few stumbles in Season 2, Episode 301 reminds us why we fell in love with the Outlander novels and the television series in the first place. Diana Gabaldon’s third novel Voyager (on which this season is based) is a favorite part of Claire and Jamie’s epic story for many, including and especially me. I could not be happier with the amount of care so far given to this part of their adventure. The premiere provides more than a few *favorite* moments for me which I share with you now in Jamie’s Top 30 Looks for Episode 301: THE BATTLE JOINED.
#30: Jamie’s I Am Dead Face – Not a word has been spoken, and you’re already a blubbering mess, aren’t you?
#29: Jamie’s Titanic Face – Jamie lies on Culloden field with the weight of his mortal enemy pinning him down. Come on, man! Even Rose had the oomph to let go of her Jack and call for help.
#28: Jamie’s Highland Charge Face – Braveheart has nothing on this Scot. Plus, Jamie manages not to get himself drawn and quartered, only one-quarter maimed in the sexiest possible place.
#27: Jamie’s Princess Bride Face – Ha ha! These fools! They fell victim to one of the classic blunders – the most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia,” but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go in against a Scot when death is on the line!”
#26: Jamie’s I’m Going To Kill As Many Of You Assholes As I Possibly Can Before I Die, Starting With This Asshole Face – Well, it’s better than Death By Clump of Sod Face.
#25: Jamie’s Tug Of War Face – Culloden could have been a lot simpler if they’d just tied a rope around Prince Charlie with the Scots on one end and the English on the other. Whoever tugged the bigger piece of Charlie when he ripped in half would have been the winner. Yes? No? Maybe? Too soon?
#24: Jamie’s You Made Me Give Up The Love Of My Life, Motherf*cker Face – I don’t actually think Jamie knows what a mother*cker is, but it sure would be fun letting him guess.
#23: Jamie’s Tootsie Pop Face – How many redcoats does Jamie have to kill before he gets to the center of the tootsie pop? [Don’t ask me why that popped into my head.]
#22: Jamie’s Quiet Moment Face – Heaven can damn well wait.
#21: Wascally Wabbit’s There Goes The Neighborhood Face – I am so relieved this cute little guy didn’t start talking to Jamie. Of course, if this had been a Neil Gaiman adaptation …
#20: Jamie’s Wascally Wabbit Face – Now, all he needs for his Hasenpfeffer is some bacon, wine, garlic and shallots.
#19: Jamie’s Is It Too Late To Kill Prince Charlie? Face – You’re thinking it. I’m thinking it. You know Jamie’s thinking it.
#18: Jamie’s James . . . Alexander . . . Malcolm . . . MacKenzie . . . Fraser Face – Thank goodness Jamie has such a long, frickin’ name. Ellen and Brian always knew it would come in handy someday.
#17: Jamie’s Lallybroch Face – aka What The Hell Does A Guy Gotta Do To Die Around Here? Face.
#16: Jamie’s I Broke Your Sissy Little Brother’s Arm Face – Now, please kill me.
#15: Jamie’s Ten Commandments Face:
- Dinna drool over other Hot Scots before me, unless they also star in Outlander. But you still aren’t allow to drool as much.
- Dinna collect any graven image of me other than those cute Funko Pop! figurines.
- Dinna call out my name during sex with anyone other than me, unless making love to Frank or if your name happens to be Jamie. But really, you should just change your name to avoid comparison.
- Remember Culloden!
- Dinna be a pisser to your Da and Ma.
- Dinna kill anyone, except the bloody English.
- Dinna commit adultery, unless you travel through time and meet a Hot Scot like me.
- Dinna steal, unless you’re positive you can get away with it.
- Dinna do more than bend the truth.
- Dinna be jealous of Claire because I love her and not you.
#14: Jamie’s Dreamweaver Face – So, was the rabbit really Rupert, too?
#13: Jamie’s I Double Dog Dare You To Kill Me Face – All Jamie wants to do is die, but Diana Gabaldon just won’t let him. Bless her heart!
#12: Jamie’s Rick Grimes Face – At this point, I would have been happy ripping out Randall’s f*cking throat with my bare teeth.
#11: Jamie’s It’s Not Even My Birthday Face – aka …
… the Day Randall Finds Out That Witch Was Telling The Truth Face.
#10: Jamie’s Battle Of The Bastard Face – When Jamie’s day gets 1000x times better.
#9: Jamie’s Excalibur Face – Every great battle scene needs an Excalibur moment. And this one is so beautifully done!
#8: Jamie’s Excalibur Close Up Face – Here’s to the beginning of the end of a terrible relationship.
#7: Jamie’s How The Hell Does This Stone Work? Face – Oh, if only …
#6: Jamie’s Debt Of Honor Face – Where the hell was Lord Melton when Jamie was stuck in Wentworth?
#5: Jamie’s Slàn leat, a Ràibeirt Face – Ah, Rupert. He went out like a champ.
#4: Jamie’s Arya Stark Face – This moment is so Game of Thrones satisfying, it takes a collage to do it justice.
#3: Jamie’s Where You Been All My Life? Face – By your side, man. By your side.
#2: Murtagh’s Fancy Meeting You Here Face – Only Murtagh would have fun at a massacre. And thus begins the game Where’s Murtagh?
#1: Jamie’s Hurts So Good Face – This may not be your favorite, but this look on Jamie’s face encapsulates the entire episode for me. Bravo!
All images used above are property of Sony Pictures and Starz, Inc.
Outlander Episode 302: SURRENDER premieres on Starz on Sunday, 17 September 2017 in the U.S.
If you’re interested in my initial, spoiler-free thoughts from the screening at Comicon 2017, you can read them here: A True Fan’s View of #Outlander Ep. 301: THE BATTLE JOINED.